Dreamstorm

[OB] Poll - Opinion on Adolin

[OB] Opinion on Adolin   187 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your opinion of Adolin?

    • He's one of my favorite characters
      61
    • On the whole, I have positive thoughts about him
      97
    • I'm neutral
      18
    • On the whole, I have negative thoughts about him
      11
    • He's one of my least favorite characters
      7

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

111 posts in this topic

14 hours ago, maxal said:

The problem I see is the word "static". How realistic is it for an individual to remain so static in times of great changes? How realistic is it for an individual to NEVER be affected by any event, to always put himself last, to never feel envy nor jealousy, to constantly step down? And, more importantly, how interesting is it for a character to have literally no flaw?

Where are Adolin's flaws? Everyone has them. Why aren't we seeing them in the narrative? Why is he written like a Mary Sue who can never do no wrong?

When some of us are saying Adolin falls flat, it's usually because the character seems to have no inner motivations, no character flaws and is never affected by hardships. He's just... there and sure, he's an angel, but where's the rest of him?

I'm not sure how much I'd call him a mary sue - after all, he only has one thing he really excels at, and even there he got defeated often enough when circumstances were unfavorable. but he doesn't have any real weakness, that could be a better way to put it.

but that could actually be a reason brandon keeps him in the background. if he took more the forefront, his lack of weakness would not go well with many readers.

Anyway, those two wob are not completely bad. they say adolin will not take a larger role, but he'll probably keep his current one, which is not all that bad if you look past the lack of focus. He still got to look decently heroic in the past books, after all.

P.S. I just recalled the scene in the storming of the palace when he is fighting in formation with the other soldiers, and realized his being a good team player is also a very welcome contrast to a lot of overly individualistic protagonists. I'm thinking of pretty much any protagonist I know, from "I must do everything myself" Rand al'Thor, to "I must go alone 'cause others can't keep up with me" Vin, to "I don't want anyone except my buddy" Vax and Wayne, to "I must protect everyone" Kaladin. Even a highly social player like Shallan or, worse, Egwene, only use other people for their purposes.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

Also this one:

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/182-stormlight-three-update-5/#e3836

  Reveal hidden contents

Brandon Sanderson

In book one, a main character was absent from several parts. (Dalinar and Shallan alternated.) Same with Words of Radiance, where Dalinar skipped two parts, I believe.

Note that this is an absence of viewpoints from the character, not necessarily an absence of the character entirely.

The main characters of the first part of the Stormlight are Shallan, Kaladin, and Dalinar. Two more flashback character (Eshonai and Szeth) can be considered important characters without as many viewpoints, though in the above outline, I'd have listed them as tertiary characters in terms of number of viewpoints.

The actual tertiary characters are Jasnah, Adolin, Navani, and a few that I can't mention as it will be spoilers. These get significant screen time, but only have viewpoints here and there in the first five books. Jasnah, as I've said, grows more important in the back five. Others do as well.

 

My apologies completely unrelated to Adolin and I do not want to hijack the thread about him but I remembered this WoB while reading OB then kind of forgot again with all the post read glory here. So speaking of Jasnah I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how she is obviously the most knowledgeable and I'd go as far to say skilled KR (as in understanding her powers) yet she is still a side character until after book 5. Oh and not to mention she is now the Queen of Alethkar. Anyways sorry please carry on I am enjoying the discussion on Adolin. A lot of people put my feelings a lot better than I do. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Narcoleptic Axolotl said:

I'm just glad Brandon didn't go ahead and make ALL the Kholins into radiants.

There is a very good rational as to why many Kholins were chosen to become Radiants: they are are the forefront of events, they are an influential family. Given the context, it makes perfect sense all Kholins are Radiants. If Adolin is never chosen, then I do feel this is something Brandon should explain.

10 hours ago, IronBars said:

Adolin certainly has blinkers on with regards how he views Dalinar, however im hopeful the revelation about Evi's death is going to be the straw that breaks the camels back, an opens Adolins eyes.

That would do a great deal for Adolins character, and once the flood gates are open i can see it leading to everything you just said he wasn't in regards becoming Odiums new champion, as i said it has symmetry, and would make alot of narrative sense.

I don't know... Adolin has excused Dalinar's every wrong, there is little chance he will not forget his father for this as well. This being said, I do not believe Adolin would ever become a candidate to become Odium's Champion: he just does not have the right mind set for this. He just doesn't have the right personality and even if he loses his illusions over his father, he still won't become a blood-thirsty Thrill-addicted angry, jealous and envious man. This just isn't him.

6 hours ago, Vissy said:

So if I interpret those WoBs right, Sanderson is essentially telling Adolin fans to quiet down because he doesn't intend to write anything for him. He did add some Adolin PoVs to the beginning of OB but well... that should've been done early enough so that he could actually accommodate the rest of the book for those viewpoints too, since there's now a big dichotomy between first part and the rest of the book. Not in the beta stage, when he hardly could judge how that inclusion affects the rest of the book or make the necessary edits. 

More or less. Brandon is saying he believes what he has to propose for Adolin is more than sufficient to flesh out the character. He also confirms he finds introverted secretive characters more interesting to write because, like most authors, he probably enjoys over-using the "I will not share my secrets and thus become mysterious" to keep a character interesting. I feel when he moves onto Adolin, he doesn't know which card to play because the character isn't hiding some deep secret: he struggles, as an author, to shuffle with the layers he did put onto the character as he can't have him struggle over a dark secret.

I personally find the chapters he added were much needed even if they break continuity. Without them, we would have gotten zero perspective on Adolin murdering Sadeas. We wouldn't have gotten this beautiful scene with Gallant and Adolin's hand would have been healed off-screen. What I find troubling is the fact the author didn't think he needed those scenes when he initially wrote the book. For the rest, he could have added snippets with Adolin's viewpoint here and there to maintain the continuity, but I guess he didn't think it was required. All in all, it'd be great if Brandon were to sit down and think on Adolin's narrative, even if it is shorter, the same way he spends think outlaying the narrative for other characters.

Of course, I read those WoB a long time ago.

5 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

I'm not sure how much I'd call him a mary sue - after all, he only has one thing he really excels at, and even there he got defeated often enough when circumstances were unfavorable. but he doesn't have any real weakness, that could be a better way to put it.

but that could actually be a reason brandon keeps him in the background. if he took more the forefront, his lack of weakness would not go well with many readers.

Anyway, those two wob are not completely bad. they say adolin will not take a larger role, but he'll probably keep his current one, which is not all that bad if you look past the lack of focus. He still got to look decently heroic in the past books, after all.

P.S. I just recalled the scene in the storming of the palace when he is fighting in formation with the other soldiers, and realized his being a good team player is also a very welcome contrast to a lot of overly individualistic protagonists. I'm thinking of pretty much any protagonist I know, from "I must do everything myself" Rand al'Thor, to "I must go alone 'cause others can't keep up with me" Vin, to "I don't want anyone except my buddy" Vax and Wayne, to "I must protect everyone" Kaladin. Even a highly social player like Shallan or, worse, Egwene, only use other people for their purposes.

Mary Sue is a strong term which is useful to get readers attention: Adolin is not really a Mary Sue, but he is a character having had a long string of successes without much hardships. Whichever hardships he encountered weren't made to matter much to his behavior and his own self. 

Adolin, as planned by the author, has flaws, but those flaws aren't playing a role into the narrative. Given Adolin is actually an important player, this lack of fleshing out is puzzling. Whether readers like it or hate it, we can't remove Adolin from the narrative and get the same result: this marks him as a protagonist as opposed to a minor character. Minor characters are almost always removable. For instance, taking Lopen away isn't changing any of the outcome, but without Adolin not only WoK falls apart, but WoR and OB's climaxes aren't happening in the same manner. Adolin's character has had an equivalent influence onto the narrative as the "protagonists", but he didn't get the fleshing out.

It'd be great if the author could review his views on Adolin. The character has a lot to bring to the narrative and I sincerely believe it'd be stronger if the author would work harder to give the character depth and layers.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Vissy said:

So if I interpret those WoBs right, Sanderson is essentially telling Adolin fans to quiet down because he doesn't intend to write anything for him. He did add some Adolin PoVs to the beginning of OB but well... that should've been done early enough so that he could actually accommodate the rest of the book for those viewpoints too, since there's now a big dichotomy between first part and the rest of the book. Not in the beta stage, when he hardly could judge how that inclusion affects the rest of the book or make the necessary edits. 

I think that's exactly what he is saying: Sorry, I care about your feelings but it's my story and I have to tell it how I feel is best.

He is right - even if he did choose to totally restructure the story to give Adolin a bigger role, it would not work out how you think.  Sanderson has a story in mind, and changing things up like that is not going to improve the story even for Adolin.  Personally, I think Adolin is a classic case of the "Ensemble Darkhorse" trope http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EnsembleDarkhorse.  He works great as a secondary character and part of what makes him great is that we don't know too much about him.  Some people on this forum have read a -lot- into Adolin and his feelings and emotions.  There's nothing wrong with that, but they are not based in the actual text on the page and you take a risk that Sanderson has other ideas for the character.  In order to bring him further into the spotlight Sanderson either has to shift him to become more like a traditional Sanderson protagonist and potentially lose the traits we like about him, flesh him out with his same or similar traits that might go in different directions than his fans want or expect, or just give him more screen time but leave him as a kind of flat character.

I'll be honest - I really don't care how Adolin feels about murdering Sadeas or how he might feel about finding out his father's role in his mother's death.  I only care about it in terms of how it impacts other characters that I do care about.  I'm willing to change my mind and probably will if there are well written scenes about that in Book 4, but I'm not expecting it.

Edited by agrabes
5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, agrabes said:

I'll be honest - I really don't care how Adolin feels about murdering Sadeas or how he might feel about finding out his father's role in his mother's death.  I only care about it in terms of how it impacts other characters that I do care about.  I'm willing to change my mind and probably will if there are well written scenes about that in Book 4, but I'm not expecting it.

I don't really understand how someone can come away from reading the 4v1 duel scene in WoR, and the Sadeas murder scene, and end up not caring about Adolin as a character at all. Maybe that's just me, but that kind of a perspective is something I don't really understand as both scenes are some of my favourite in all of SA and especially the 4v1 duel is a central, thematic moment of WoR. 

Edited by Vissy
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, agrabes said:

Personally, I think Adolin is a classic case of the "Ensemble Darkhorse" trope http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EnsembleDarkhorse.  He works great as a secondary character and part of what makes him great is that we don't know too much about him.  Some people on this forum have read a -lot- into Adolin and his feelings and emotions. 

Solid gold analysis right here. It fits so well, thank you, I learned something new today

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, agrabes said:

I think that's exactly what he is saying: Sorry, I care about your feelings but it's my story and I have to tell it how I feel is best.

He is right - even if he did choose to totally restructure the story to give Adolin a bigger role, it would not work out how you think.  Sanderson has a story in mind, and changing things up like that is not going to improve the story even for Adolin.  Personally, I think Adolin is a classic case of the "Ensemble Darkhorse" trope http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EnsembleDarkhorse.  He works great as a secondary character and part of what makes him great is that we don't know too much about him.  Some people on this forum have read a -lot- into Adolin and his feelings and emotions.  There's nothing wrong with that, but they are not based in the actual text on the page and you take a risk that Sanderson has other ideas for the character.  In order to bring him further into the spotlight Sanderson either has to shift him to become more like a traditional Sanderson protagonist and potentially lose the traits we like about him, flesh him out with his same or similar traits that might go in different directions than his fans want or expect, or just give him more screen time but leave him as a kind of flat character.

I'll be honest - I really don't care how Adolin feels about murdering Sadeas or how he might feel about finding out his father's role in his mother's death.  I only care about it in terms of how it impacts other characters that I do care about.  I'm willing to change my mind and probably will if there are well written scenes about that in Book 4, but I'm not expecting it.

I personally do not understand why some readers are adamant in jumping into those discussions to state how meaninglessly minor Adolin is. I find it especially disturbing to have the discussions and character analysis be reduced as "whims of a bunch of readers which has nothing to do with the actual narrative". I even find it insulting as I personally always took care to craft my analysis based on textual and WoB evidence: I believe other readers are attempting at doing the same. Hence, to state pages and pages of analysis is worthless because they are wasted onto an obviously very insignificantly minor character they can't be anything else than pure fabrication is just ill-placed thoughts.

Here is a list of characters currently being more minor than Adolin into the existing narrative: Jasnah, Renarin, Lift, Szeth, anyone within Bridge 4. Yet, I do not believe I have ever read any other reader jump in and say they care so little about those characters, they are so meaningless, anything canonically happening around them is bond to be boring and not worth any page time. However, on a pure narrative point of view, they all are much more minor characters than Adolin with much less characterization and page time. 

I thus strongly disagree Adolin is nothing more than an ensemble darkhorse. To be an ensemble darkhorse, a character needs to be minor which Adolin isn't. For instance, after WoK/WoR, Renarin was an ensemble darkhorse because he was a very minor character having gotten very little characterization which become very popular within a given percentage of the fandom. Adolin fails the first criteria which is to be "minor". Now, let's go see who this overrated TvTropes site is saying actually is an ensemble darkhorse: Hot Pie. Bronn, Hodor, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Finnick, Glorfindel.. Yeah. A bunch of characters having no viewpoints, no narrative, nothing distinctive happening to them, very little participation into the main narrative. Totally the same as Adolin.

Adolin and Hot Pie: similar character with similar impact into the narrative. 

This being said, everyone is entitled not to care about a given character or another, but I do not understand the need to purposefully diminish Adolin's importance to the narrative.

59 minutes ago, DeployParachute said:

Solid gold analysis right here. It fits so well, thank you, I learned something new today

Solid gold analysis? There isn't one listed acknowledged ensemble darkhorse which even comes close to Adolin in terms of importance, relevance and scope of narrative. 

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, maxal said:

Solid gold analysis?

Yes I think this is the relevant portion that is spot on in describing Adolin's reception in many of the fan forums I've been on:

Quote

This trope is used to describe a side character making up part of the Ensemble, either a non-lead secondary character or a mere Flat Character, who then becomes unexpectedly popular with the fandom (sometimes, even more than the lead characters)...Often, this can happen because the character has very few character traits, allowing fans to imagine this character to have traits that they like.

As to your comments to Adolin's importance to the narrative, I agree that he had importance to the setup of the narrative arc, but that does not necessarily mean he will remain as important to it's continuation nor it's eventual conclusion.

I guess I would say it would do us all good to be mindful of this trope, so we may be on guessed about our inclinations for projecting things into the character that the text doesn't support.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, DeployParachute said:

Yes I think this is the relevant portion that is spot on in describing Adolin's reception in many of the fan forums I've been on:

As to your comments to Adolin's importance to the narrative, I agree that he had importance to the setup of the narrative arc, but that does not necessarily mean he will remain as important to it's continuation nor it's eventual conclusion.

I guess I would say it would do us all good to be mindful of this trope, so we may be on guessed about our inclinations for projecting things into the character that the text doesn't support.

Except this isn't true. The sentence you put in bold applies to Renarin pre-OB (example), but it does not apply to Adolin. Adolin has written out character traits into the narrative, the readers just do not agree on how to interpret them due to lack of exposure, not due to their complete absence.

i honestly do not see what it is anyone is suggesting which isn't supported by the canon textual. Everyone is actually trying to suggests narrative which follows the textual canon: they do not all agree, but saying it is pure fabrication which happened because of a sympathetic black hole Brandon left open is not accurate.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, maxal said:

lack of exposure, not due to their complete absence.

I think we're arguing semantics at this point. Whether the traits are minimal or absent entirely doesn't make much difference. I also think you read the bolded line, and then misremembered what it said, as it used "very few character traits", not complete absence.

19 minutes ago, maxal said:

honestly do not see what it is anyone is suggesting which isn't supported by the canon textual.

You know, there really is no good way of providing you with examples without making individuals feel like they are being singled out. So I'll just say that I disagree, and leave it at that.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it's not like we don't know much about him. We know quite a lot about him. I'd say he can still be seen somewhat akin to an ensemble darkhorse because we know much less than his position in the story would warrant. especially considering how much we know of the three main characters, and that adolin is arguably the most important character besides those three (really, I can't think of any other candidate who was so much involved in so many key events).

Regarding brandon, I don't think he is wrong in wanting to keep adolin in the background, nor that he should push him to the forefront. Adolin still works better as a support, and the story is more interesting with its current protagonists. it's just that he should get some more attention, given his role. Like, one chapter in every ten or twenty outside of climaxes who are devoted to yet another shallan or kaladin pow, give it to adolin. it would keep adolin secondary, but would flesh him out better.

Although I'm thinking that brandon is intentionally trying to keep a small number of main pow characters because he fears losing track like the wheel of time.

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, DeployParachute said:

I think we're arguing semantics at this point. Whether the traits are minimal or absent entirely doesn't make much difference. I also think you read the bolded line, and then misremembered what it said, as it used "very few character traits", not complete absence.

I understood the sentence, I disagree nonetheless with the comment. Very few character traits is something which would more aptly describe most of Bridge 4, Lyn the scout, random soldiers, Gaz, Lopen and plenty of other very minor characters. They do have traits, but they mostly are blank slates readers can use to project on. I find comparing Adolin, who shall I remember is the fourth character in importance within the narrative, to several considerably more minor characters, saying he is exactly the same is just trying to put the square peg into the circle. It does not fit. 

Adolin may not have as much characterization as Dalinar/Kaladin/Shallan, but he has more than practically every other character within the narrative. When readers complain on the lack of characterization, they do not complain over the fact there is none, they complain over the fact there isn't enough considering Adolin's importance within the narrative which is considerably bigger than the darkhorse ensemble trope demands. Adolin is not a blank slate readers project on: he is a character with a backstory, a personality and motivations which are explained within the narrative. Not with the amount of details I wish they were, but they are still there. Adolin is a very polarizing character because he is considerably more complex than the author is acknowledging : there is the duality of the man he projects and the man he really is. Since those two are muddled, readers argue about who is the real Adolin, but this isn't because the character has "few traits", this is because the story hasn't dig into him as deeply as within other characters. 

Again, the list of characters actually fitting into this trope is rather telling: not one come anywhere close to the characterization and the narrative impact of an Adolin. Luna Lovegood is an interesting character, all this is true, but she's got what, 4-5 scenes within seven books whereas Adolin has had recurrent viewpoints for three books. 

I this point in time, I think some readers just want Adolin to be a meaningless minor character and are just trying to use the fact some readers are disappointed with his overall arc to try to steer the popular opinion into having him become this meaningless minor character. The problem is Adolin doesn't fall within the category of minor characters. 

While what makes a character minor and not another is often open to interpretation, I personally disagree Adolin is one within the narrative we have read.

7 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

it's not like we don't know much about him. We know quite a lot about him. I'd say he can still be seen somewhat akin to an ensemble darkhorse because we know much less than his position in the story would warrant. especially considering how much we know of the three main characters, and that adolin is arguably the most important character besides those three (really, I can't think of any other candidate who was so much involved in so many key events).

Regarding brandon, I don't think he is wrong in wanting to keep adolin in the background, nor that he should push him to the forefront. Adolin still works better as a support, and the story is more interesting with its current protagonists. it's just that he should get some more attention, given his role. Like, one chapter in every ten or twenty outside of climaxes who are devoted to yet another shallan or kaladin pow, give it to adolin. it would keep adolin secondary, but would flesh him out better.

Although I'm thinking that brandon is intentionally trying to keep a small number of main pow characters because he fears losing track like the wheel of time.

As I explained above, I do believe, based on the examples the trope listed, to be a darkhorse ensemble, one needs to have much less characterization than Adolin has not to forget considerably less impact within the narrative. Adolin is participating to the main narrative, he leads the actions during a few sequences: right here and there, he fails to be minor often to be classified within this trope. Is he a fan's favorite? Definitely. Does it feel like the character is not getting the characterization his position within the story demands? Definitely, but it is still not enough for him to be shrink down to minor non-fleshed character.

As for Brandon, I personally believe a story is always stronger when all active characters are fleshed out decently and this includes Adolin. I also find his personality is so different than the other characters putting in the background is harming the narrative more than helping. For instance, what did not work for many readers in OB? The "protagonists" didn't talk one with another, they all centered themselves on their own self, they all had arcs which were very independent one from another despite evolving within the same scenes. They all went through very internal, often redundant introspective narrative which made the story tedious to read for some, downright uninteresting for others. Giving Adolin, an outward character who's story is always intervened with other characters, a bigger spot would add a new dynamic to the narrative. His struggles differ so widely than the "broken hidden pasts filled with secrecy" of other characters, it makes them interesting, contrasting: too much of one thing tends to be boring. Brandon wanted his leads to have "dark secrets they can't deal with" in their past, what he overlooked is how repetitive this can be when he does with nearly every single protagonist he has thought of.

Hence, Adolin breaks the pattern and any character which breaks the pattern becomes interesting. Brandon understands this to some extend, but I do feel he is so afraid of adding too many viewpoint characters he purposefully cuts down on the narrative of his other characters. The irony of it is OB often gets criticized for having too many new viewpoint, hence the idea Adolin should have less because it clogs the narrative doesn't gold the road. 

This being said, I agree with your commentary saying Adolin should have a more regular viewpoint: we should have his be intervene with Kaladin/Shallan/Dalinar as these characters often have too many viewpoints which can sometimes harm their narrative. It didn't in previous books, but it did in OB, IMHO.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/20/2018 at 7:57 PM, maxal said:

I personally do not understand why some readers are adamant in jumping into those discussions to state how meaninglessly minor Adolin is. I find it especially disturbing to have the discussions and character analysis be reduced as "whims of a bunch of readers which has nothing to do with the actual narrative". I even find it insulting as I personally always took care to craft my analysis based on textual and WoB evidence: I believe other readers are attempting at doing the same. Hence, to state pages and pages of analysis is worthless because they are wasted onto an obviously very insignificantly minor character they can't be anything else than pure fabrication is just ill-placed thoughts.

Here is a list of characters currently being more minor than Adolin into the existing narrative: Jasnah, Renarin, Lift, Szeth, anyone within Bridge 4. Yet, I do not believe I have ever read any other reader jump in and say they care so little about those characters, they are so meaningless, anything canonically happening around them is bond to be boring and not worth any page time. However, on a pure narrative point of view, they all are much more minor characters than Adolin with much less characterization and page time. 

I thus strongly disagree Adolin is nothing more than an ensemble darkhorse. To be an ensemble darkhorse, a character needs to be minor which Adolin isn't. For instance, after WoK/WoR, Renarin was an ensemble darkhorse because he was a very minor character having gotten very little characterization which become very popular within a given percentage of the fandom. Adolin fails the first criteria which is to be "minor". Now, let's go see who this overrated TvTropes site is saying actually is an ensemble darkhorse: Hot Pie. Bronn, Hodor, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Finnick, Glorfindel.. Yeah. A bunch of characters having no viewpoints, no narrative, nothing distinctive happening to them, very little participation into the main narrative. Totally the same as Adolin.

Adolin and Hot Pie: similar character with similar impact into the narrative. 

This being said, everyone is entitled not to care about a given character or another, but I do not understand the need to purposefully diminish Adolin's importance to the narrative.

Solid gold analysis? There isn't one listed acknowledged ensemble darkhorse which even comes close to Adolin in terms of importance, relevance and scope of narrative. 

I just want to be clear, I'm not saying this as a personal attack against you, any other posters on this forum, or even Adolin's character.  What I'm pointing out is that there are a lot of people in the fandom who really like Adolin and really want him to be treated by the books as a main character.  Sanderson has directly said that he does not view Adolin as a major character and only gave him a viewpoint originally because he needed a lens to view Dalinar's fears of going mad from the outside.

I think you are confusing being a viewpoint character with narrative importance.  You can be a viewpoint character but not be a driver of the story, and you can be a character like Jasnah who has very few viewpoints (1 or 2 so far in the series?) and be a significant driver of the story both from the grand narrative of the plot and in terms of interpersonal relationships.  I like Adolin as a character and enjoy reading his chapters, but the story isn't about him and I don't want it to become about him.  People love secondary characters because you can read just about anything you want into their motives.  For the most part, we do not see how Adolin is feeling or get his motivations behind what he does.  Yes, Adolin is fleshed out more than many of those other characters in TV Tropes but he is still clearly not on the same level as the primary characters within the Stormlight Archive.  I'm not saying that to be mean or dismissive of him as a character, but you have to put him in context as a character in this series.

For myself personally, the reason I don't say that I believe others are overvaluing other characters such as Jasnah or Renarin is because for the most part people on this board have not been demanding that there be increased viewpoints and roles for those characters in the story.  I have seen people saying that they wish Lift had a smaller role, but there aren't many people who want to change her role at all.  For Szeth I personally wish he did have a smaller role in the story, though I've never posted anything about it.  And I have said I felt that there was too much focus given to Bridge 4 in OB.  Frankly, I would have rather seen 1 or 2 Adolin additional chapters rather than Bridge 4 chapters.

The point is - people say that they don't want Adolin's role expanded because there are some loud voices who say they do want it expanded.  I don't think any of us are being rude about it -at least I try not to be-, but the bottom line is that if Adolin's role increases then someone else's role has to decrease and the story has to change.  I don't want that and so I want to make sure that my opinion is heard as well.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, agrabes said:

I think you are confusing being a viewpoint character with narrative importance.  You can be a viewpoint character but not be a driver of the story, and you can be a character like Jasnah who has very few viewpoints (1 or 2 so far in the series?) and be a significant driver of the story both from the grand narrative of the plot and in terms of interpersonal relationships.

the thing is, adolin has a llot of narrative importance. He was chiefly involved in almost everything important that happened:

- he was a strongly influence on his father's decisions about his visions.

- he was seen by kaladin defending a prostitute; kaladin specifically recalled that episode when he decided to rescue dalinar's army

- he fought at the tower

- dalinar relies on him to win shards from other highprinces

- he goes to joint assaults with other highprinces

- he spars with kaladin

- he fights szeth

- he starts a relationship with shallan

- he is central to the big duel, then goes to prison with kaladin

- he goes to parley with eshonai in place of his father

- he leads the fight at narak

- he duels eshonai

- he kills sadeas

- he trains shallan in the sword

- he is a main component of the kholinar expedition

- he takes part in the shadesmar trek

- he fights at taylen city

Hardly a minor character with a minor part.

In terms of relationship, considering there are three main characters, adolin is son to one, husband to another, and best friend of the third. Again, I wouldn't call him minor. He's also brother and cousin to two people who will be main characters in the second half.

Yes, I understand that he does not drive the story,  but I still argue that after the main three characters kaladin shallan dalinar, adolin is the next most important character. I understand that some people don't really care that much about him and don't think the story would gain anything from expanding his focus, but claiming that he does not matter because he's a secondary character, well, it takes a very peculiar definition of secondary character to say so.

7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, agrabes said:

People love secondary characters because you can read just about anything you want into their motives.  For the most part, we do not see how Adolin is feeling or get his motivations behind what he does.

I'd have to strongly disagree with this regarding motivations. We have a very good understanding of Adolin's motives at least in the first two books he is defending his father and family. Pretty much everything he does revolves around this motivation and it is clear right up to the point he kills Sadeas. So in Adolin's case I'd say this is completely false.  

 

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, agrabes said:

I just want to be clear, I'm not saying this as a personal attack against you, any other posters on this forum, or even Adolin's character.  What I'm pointing out is that there are a lot of people in the fandom who really like Adolin and really want him to be treated by the books as a main character.  Sanderson has directly said that he does not view Adolin as a major character and only gave him a viewpoint originally because he needed a lens to view Dalinar's fears of going mad from the outside.

Readers aren't as ignorant about Brandon's decisions as this post make it sound. Everyone knows Adolin is not a main character, but some of us do find his importance to the narrative dictate a slightly bigger role than the one he has gotten in OB.

I would also point out Adolin might have been added late into WoK, but something very important seems to be missing from the analysis: without Adolin WoK's entire narrative falls apart. When a character is needed for a narrative to: 1) make sense, 2) be coherent with itself, 3) make for an interesting to read story, then I do feel, just right here, he has moved pass this minor character square his detractors are insisting he must belong to. A character which is needed for the narrative to work as it was planned is not minor.

An example of a real minor character? A real darkhorse ensemble? Lopen. 

5 hours ago, agrabes said:

I think you are confusing being a viewpoint character with narrative importance.  You can be a viewpoint character but not be a driver of the story, and you can be a character like Jasnah who has very few viewpoints (1 or 2 so far in the series?) and be a significant driver of the story both from the grand narrative of the plot and in terms of interpersonal relationships.  I like Adolin as a character and enjoy reading his chapters, but the story isn't about him and I don't want it to become about him.  People love secondary characters because you can read just about anything you want into their motives.  For the most part, we do not see how Adolin is feeling or get his motivations behind what he does.  Yes, Adolin is fleshed out more than many of those other characters in TV Tropes but he is still clearly not on the same level as the primary characters within the Stormlight Archive.  I'm not saying that to be mean or dismissive of him as a character, but you have to put him in context as a character in this series.

I think you are confusing character with an importance within the narrative and supporting character. Jasnah, for instance, is a more minor character because her importance to the main narrative is lesser. In other words, Jasnah does not drive the main narrative, not yet however. In WoK, she acted as Shallan's teacher, a needed position, but not one requiring strong characterization nor viewpoint. She as absent in WoR and her presence in OB wasn't required. So while yes, Jasnah had a role to play within the Taylenah battle, the climax could have easily been re-written to do without her. Was the story stronger because she was in it? YES. But could it have remained relatively intact without her? Yes too. However, without Adolin too many narrative arcs need to be re-written. Doable? Yes, but then the story would not have been the same.

Adolin thus cannot be removed from SA without changing significantly the narrative: too many arcs just do not work out when they just don't happen if he is gone. 

Right here and there is the difference in between an important character and a supporting one. An important character is intrinsically mixed within the narrative and plays a significant enough role within it he cannot be removed without changing large sections of it. This is true for Adolin in all three books, this is wrong for Jasnah in OB, less so in WoK as the role she played was important even if not central, even if it didn't come with a character arc unlike Adolin.

I also disagree with Adolin being so minor readers are completely clueless about his motives and are just inventing them. We know his motives, but Adolin is a complex character and, as such, readers have various interpretation of the character. These however do not exist because the character is a blank slate, these exists because some readers just find him interesting and like to speculate on where he may go from here.

6 hours ago, agrabes said:

For myself personally, the reason I don't say that I believe others are overvaluing other characters such as Jasnah or Renarin is because for the most part people on this board have not been demanding that there be increased viewpoints and roles for those characters in the story.  I have seen people saying that they wish Lift had a smaller role, but there aren't many people who want to change her role at all.  For Szeth I personally wish he did have a smaller role in the story, though I've never posted anything about it.  And I have said I felt that there was too much focus given to Bridge 4 in OB.  Frankly, I would have rather seen 1 or 2 Adolin additional chapters rather than Bridge 4 chapters.

The point is - people say that they don't want Adolin's role expanded because there are some loud voices who say they do want it expanded.  I don't think any of us are being rude about it -at least I try not to be-, but the bottom line is that if Adolin's role increases then someone else's role has to decrease and the story has to change.  I don't want that and so I want to make sure that my opinion is heard as well.

I think some readers are having a strong misconception as to what readers such as myself are actually envisioning when they are asking for a stronger narrative for Adolin.

Let's put things in perspective. Dalinar had 111K words, Shallan had 106K words, Kaladin had 75K words and Adolin had 21K words. In between 21K and 75K words this an entire world. Nobody ever expected Adolin would get a narrative as focused and big as Shallan's (even if I wish it were the case, I know Brandon has no such plans), but it is very reasonable to think the fourth character in importance, within the series, could get a little bit more words in order to make his narrative both satisfying, detailed and deeper. Say going from 21K to 40K would change things dramatically for a character such as Adolin without making him over-step over on the "leads". Hence no one is arguing for Adolin to get the 100K words narrative, everyone knows this will never in a thousand years happen, but more would be welcomed, more would strengthened the overall narrative.

4 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

...

 Great post which highlights Adolin's contribution to the narrative.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, maxal said:

Let's put things in perspective. Dalinar had 111K words, Shallan had 106K words, Kaladin had 75K words and Adolin had 21K words.

this mathematic allows me to reiterate my point that adolin can significantly be expanded without hampering anyone else: say we take 5k words away from dalinar and shallan to give adolin; now dalinar has 106k words and shallan 101k, they lost less than 5%, their characterization and focus aren't impacted significantly. but adolin at 30k words would be 50% more represented. we don't disagree with brandon on the big picture for adolin; we merely think adolin is important enough that 3% to 5% more space in the book could have been devoted to him. nothing drastic, when you consider it that way. in fact, some adolin fan with access to brandon may try this argument to sway him.

still, adolin has one third the pows of kaladin. that's much more than i figured out. doesn't help that even in his pows his focus is mostly external,  on other characters, so many of them still don't feel like adolin is really taking the scene.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, king of nowhere said:

this mathematic allows me to reiterate my point that adolin can significantly be expanded without hampering anyone else: say we take 5k words away from dalinar and shallan to give adolin; now dalinar has 106k words and shallan 101k, they lost less than 5%, their characterization and focus aren't impacted significantly. but adolin at 30k words would be 50% more represented. we don't disagree with brandon on the big picture for adolin; we merely think adolin is important enough that 3% to 5% more space in the book could have been devoted to him. nothing drastic, when you consider it that way. in fact, some adolin fan with access to brandon may try this argument to sway him.

still, adolin has one third the pows of kaladin. that's much more than i figured out. doesn't help that even in his pows his focus is mostly external,  on other characters, so many of them still don't feel like adolin is really taking the scene.

Yes. This is exactly what I was getting at. Dalinar/Shallan had a lot of page time and a lot of focus and yeah, at times, it was redundant. In comparison, Adolin didn't have enough page time to befit the role he has been given within the narrative. An additional 10-20K would have worked miracles with a character such as him. Hence, I am not thinking I am writing a travesty when I am arguing Adolin deserves a bit more focus than what Brandon has allowed him to have. I certainly do not believe I lack understanding within Brandon's plans when I state it'd be great if Adolin's page time was actually devoted... to Adolin's character or if it isn't, then his page time should be increase so he has enough page time to come around better fleshed out.

So all in all, I do feel/believe Adolin is an interesting enough character, unique enough within this specific series, additional page time would likely be beneficial to the overall narrative, especially now he has Maya. I mean, do we really want Maya to play out into 5K words worth of page time? I know I don't.

This being said, I am not convinced anyone can sway Brandon's perspective on anything, especially not on Adolin. I love the character, the author claims he is treating him fair, but he doesn't seem to be one of his favorites and it shows.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

the thing is, adolin has a llot of narrative importance. He was chiefly involved in almost everything important that happened:

- he was a strongly influence on his father's decisions about his visions.

- he was seen by kaladin defending a prostitute; kaladin specifically recalled that episode when he decided to rescue dalinar's army

- he fought at the tower

- dalinar relies on him to win shards from other highprinces

- he goes to joint assaults with other highprinces

- he spars with kaladin

- he fights szeth

- he starts a relationship with shallan

- he is central to the big duel, then goes to prison with kaladin

- he goes to parley with eshonai in place of his father

- he leads the fight at narak

- he duels eshonai

- he kills sadeas

- he trains shallan in the sword

- he is a main component of the kholinar expedition

- he takes part in the shadesmar trek

- he fights at taylen city

Hardly a minor character with a minor part.

In terms of relationship, considering there are three main characters, adolin is son to one, husband to another, and best friend of the third. Again, I wouldn't call him minor. He's also brother and cousin to two people who will be main characters in the second half.

Yes, I understand that he does not drive the story,  but I still argue that after the main three characters kaladin shallan dalinar, adolin is the next most important character. I understand that some people don't really care that much about him and don't think the story would gain anything from expanding his focus, but claiming that he does not matter because he's a secondary character, well, it takes a very peculiar definition of secondary character to say so.

The point I'm trying to make though is that most of those items you listed could have been done by Adolin without being seen through his point of view.  In fact, many of them already were actually seen through other POVs.  There are other characters who do a lot of important things in the story who don't get many POVs, like Jasnah.  I'm not sure I agree that he is the 4th most important character in the story though either he or Szeth would be the fourth most "known" character, because again he is mostly providing insight on other characters and rarely takes initiative for himself.  There's nothing wrong with that, and again I still like him as a character and I want him to maintain some viewpoints in the story, but I don't want to have a campaign to expand his viewpoints.

No, it's not that we don't know anything about Adolin but we don't know enough about Adolin for him to be fully fleshed out.  We know about the part of him that is concerned for the Kholin family's status and the health of his father.  We know he is loyal to his friends and we know he loves dueling.  We don't know that his family is his only (or even primary) motivation in life.  We don't even know much about how he really feels about Shallan, we only see that through her eyes.  I know that Adolin fans feel that is a flaw in Sanderson's story telling, but that is a personal preference which comes back to the central question: how much of Adolin should be in the story?  If he is supposed to be a major character then we should see more of him and his feelings.  If he is not supposed to be a major character, then we should not get too invested in his emotions.

I don't think that we should shave off 5k words here or there from the other main characters and "give" them to Adolin.  That just doesn't make sense in my opinion and is the kind of thing that I believe would degrade the story if we did it.  What are the 5k words you would cut from Dalinar or Shallan?  Does their story still work with a chunk missing?  What does Adolin do for those additional 10k words?  The story is crowded already with tons of things going on.  I could maybe see cutting other minor characters, but not other major characters.

I just want to re-iterate that I like Adolin as a character and I like him being in the books, but I like him as a secondary character.  If he had maybe 5-10K more words cut from Bridge 4 or Szeth, I would be on board, but no more than that.

8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, agrabes said:

The point I'm trying to make though is that most of those items you listed could have been done by Adolin without being seen through his point of view.  In fact, many of them already were actually seen through other POVs.  There are other characters who do a lot of important things in the story who don't get many POVs, like Jasnah.  I'm not sure I agree that he is the 4th most important character in the story though either he or Szeth would be the fourth most "known" character, because again he is mostly providing insight on other characters and rarely takes initiative for himself.  There's nothing wrong with that, and again I still like him as a character and I want him to maintain some viewpoints in the story, but I don't want to have a campaign to expand his viewpoints.

What myself and other readers are trying to get at is Adolin has become a too important player within the narrative to keep on being tossed to the side each time someone else walks into the room.  So while you are arguing Jasnah does important things too without getting viewpoints, I will counter argue Jasnah doesn't do nearly half or even a third of the things Adolin accomplishes within the narrative. He is our main viewpoint during larger scale battles, he is one of our only action-oriented character (together with Kaladin): he is so entangled within the narrative, the story literally falls apart without his viewpoints. 

I also do not get where the commentary stating Adolin never takes initiative for himself comes from when the only reason the 4 on 1 duel happened was because he took the initiative to book himself a tricked duel. The meeting with Eshonai happens because he took the initiative to have it. The Plateau battle is won because of his initiative. The crew escapes Kholinar because of his initiative. They navigate through Shadesmar in part because of his initiative, not just him, but he played a significant role in leading the group. The thunderclast fight happened because of his initiative so, really, I do not get how Adolin's character can be read as one with no agency nor a significant contribution to the narrative other than providing a "third person's perspective". 

I also do not understand why having some readers express their thoughts on the matter, state they feel the narrative would have been stronger had Adolin had more viewpoints takes away from others nor do I understand this need to launch an anti-Adolin campaign. Shouldn't we all be rooting for stronger, better development for ALL characters? Not just 2 or 3? Wouldn't the story be stronger if Adolin had enough viewpoints to convince the readers both the romance and the Maya arc is actually well-wrapped around, well-explored and earned? Why is it so bothersome for some to have others argue the story needs more Adolin?

5 hours ago, agrabes said:

No, it's not that we don't know anything about Adolin but we don't know enough about Adolin for him to be fully fleshed out.  We know about the part of him that is concerned for the Kholin family's status and the health of his father.  We know he is loyal to his friends and we know he loves dueling.  We don't know that his family is his only (or even primary) motivation in life.  We don't even know much about how he really feels about Shallan, we only see that through her eyes.  I know that Adolin fans feel that is a flaw in Sanderson's story telling, but that is a personal preference which comes back to the central question: how much of Adolin should be in the story?  If he is supposed to be a major character then we should see more of him and his feelings.  If he is not supposed to be a major character, then we should not get too invested in his emotions.

I don't think that we should shave off 5k words here or there from the other main characters and "give" them to Adolin.  That just doesn't make sense in my opinion and is the kind of thing that I believe would degrade the story if we did it.  What are the 5k words you would cut from Dalinar or Shallan?  Does their story still work with a chunk missing?  What does Adolin do for those additional 10k words?  The story is crowded already with tons of things going on.  I could maybe see cutting other minor characters, but not other major characters.

I just want to re-iterate that I like Adolin as a character and I like him being in the books, but I like him as a secondary character.  If he had maybe 5-10K more words cut from Bridge 4 or Szeth, I would be on board, but no more than that.

And one of the reasons the romance arc has failed, in the eyes of a significant number of readers, is because Brandon didn't provide Adolin's thoughts on the matter. It might have worked, in Mistborn, to write a convincing love story without giving viewpoints to one of the character, but in SA, Adolin is just too important for his feelings to be skipped over. Little wonder Kaladin/Shallan remains very popular, despite the outcome of entire arc, because, at least, it isn't one-sided, because we get to read Kaladin's thoughts on the matter. Hence, once again, the lack of Adolin's viewpoints is harming the narrative. If I read the lingering discussions on the matter, one thing is absolutely clear: Brandon failed to convinced a significant percentage of his readers of both the romance arc and the Maya arc. Why? Because he didn't take the time to write more in-depth viewpoints for Adolin.

Adolin had 30K words in both WoK and WoR. In OB, he actually had less than within the previous books despite having his character arc end in a cliffhanger which became one of the most anticipated arcs for the book. Stating he should have gotten, as a bare minimum, as many certainly isn't a bold nor an over-statement. I would go farther and say his arc could have been doubled and the narrative would have only been stronger. 

And yes, I do think the main characters had too many viewpoints, on average (not Kaladin, not in this book). Shallan's narrative dragged and repeated itself over and over again throughout the book: her perspective also is not always the most interesting one to read. In Kholinar, I would have traded half of her chapters just to get one Adolin's viewpoint on the situation. Focusing on just Shallan broke the pace and yielded a narrative arc which has been highly criticized. Of course, some readers loved it, but I have read too many critics of it to feel it was wrapped around in an optimum manner. Besides, sometimes less is better and when it comes to a character such as Shallan, less would have probably been better. Why? Because, IMHO, she just wasn't an interesting protagonist to have as the major one in OB. 

Arguably, there would have been other places to cut down the narrative: it is a matter of choices and I, as a reader, do feel the choices made by the author did not yield the best possible narrative. I personally enjoyed the Bridge 4 viewpoints and I do think they added something to the narrative which is why this isn't where I would personally cut down. I however need to re-state my thoughts: I do believe Adolin's character arc was not written in an optimum manner within OB. Now how many additional words would have been needed to get a better one, it is hard to evaluate: maybe I am over-stating it, maybe not, but I do not understand why readers should be pleased and satisfied in having one of the most prominent character within the narrative to suffer insufficient characterization.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, maxal said:

What myself and other readers are trying to get at is Adolin has become a too important player within the narrative to keep on being tossed to the side each time someone else walks into the room.  So while you are arguing Jasnah does important things too without getting viewpoints, I will counter argue Jasnah doesn't do nearly half or even a third of the things Adolin accomplishes within the narrative. He is our main viewpoint during larger scale battles, he is one of our only action-oriented character (together with Kaladin): he is so entangled within the narrative, the story literally falls apart without his viewpoints. 

See, and what @agrabes is saying (I apologize if I'm wrong here), and I agree, is that Adolin is not, in fact, important to the overall narrative and is serving his purpose, as a side character. Yes, if you took him out of the books that were already written, they would fall apart, because obviously he's already part of those books and entangled within our main characters narratives. That does not necessarily mean he's important. As far as what he accomplishes in the narrarive...what exactly has he accomplished? 

 

1 hour ago, maxal said:

The thunderclast fight happened because of his initiative so, really, I do not get how Adolin's character can be read as one with no agency nor a significant contribution to the narrative other than providing a "third person's perspective". 

The thunderclast fight happened, because Brandon wanted to show how powerless someone like Adolin (who only had a shardblade) is now. In a world of Radiants and Fused, a normal guy like Adolin, even with a shardblade, can't really do much.

 

1 hour ago, maxal said:

And one of the reasons the romance arc has failed, in the eyes of a significant number of readers, is because Brandon didn't provide Adolin's thoughts on the matter. It might have worked, in Mistborn, to write a convincing love story without giving viewpoints to one of the character, but in SA, Adolin is just too important for his feelings to be skipped over. Little wonder Kaladin/Shallan remains very popular, despite the outcome of entire arc, because, at least, it isn't one-sided, because we get to read Kaladin's thoughts on the matter. Hence, once again, the lack of Adolin's viewpoints is harming the narrative. If I read the lingering discussions on the matter, one thing is absolutely clear: Brandon failed to convinced a significant percentage of his readers of both the romance arc and the Maya arc. Why? Because he didn't take the time to write more in-depth viewpoints for Adolin.

This I do actually agree with you to a certain extent. Though, I would hardly call "Maya" an arc at this point, where it goes in the future is anyone's guess. It could turn into a huge, character defining arc for Adolin, or it could come to or be nothing. There really wasnt enough in OB to call it an arc yet. But overall yes, this is a big reason why I don't particularly care for Adolins character anymore. We don't get inside his head, we don't know his feelings, he's primarily been used as a means to showcase and compare/contrast with our main characters. In a book full of complex and interesing characters, Adolin sticks out, in a bad way. I wish this wasn't the case, but it is.

1 hour ago, maxal said:

And yes, I do think the main characters had too many viewpoints, on average (not Kaladin, not in this book). Shallan's narrative dragged and repeated itself over and over again throughout the book: her perspective also is not always the most interesting one to read. In Kholinar, I would have traded half of her chapters just to get one Adolin's viewpoint on the situation. Focusing on just Shallan broke the pace and yielded a narrative arc which has been highly criticized. Of course, some readers loved it, but I have read too many critics of it to feel it was wrapped around in an optimum manner. Besides, sometimes less is better and when it comes to a character such as Shallan, less would have probably been better. Why? Because, IMHO, she just wasn't an interesting protagonist to have as the major one in OB. 

They are our main characters, theres a reason they get so much page time, this story in the front 5, is primarily theirs. And theres a reason Adolin does not, his narrative, as much as you might not like it, is not important. You didn't like Shallans narrative this book, well thats a bummer, but some of us did, some of us find her fascinating and complex and incredibly well written. Which is the complete opposite of Adolin at this point. Brandon obviously finds Shallan, Kaladin and Dalinars narratives as important, hence why they are the MC's. Adolin is like a seasoning that Brandon sprinkles into our other characters narratives, he's not meant to be important, he's not meant to have his own arc, he's not a main character. Once upon a time, after WoK, I was excited about Adolin too. Its been over 3,000 pages, 3 books, and 8 years since I flipped open WoK the first time, and the way he's presented within the narrative still hasnt changed. Adolin is still not important, Brandon himself has said he's not important. I don't think thats going to change. And if he's not important...why give him more page time? He's serving his purpose as is.

 

1 hour ago, maxal said:

I do believe Adolin's character arc was not written in an optimum manner within OB. Now how many additional words would have been needed to get a better one, it is hard to evaluate: maybe I am over-stating it, maybe not, but I do not understand why readers should be pleased and satisfied in having one of the most prominent character within the narrative to suffer insufficient characterization.

I agree with you again here, Adolin is not written well, and it is the primary reason I gave up on his character, and don't care about him anymore. But I'm not sure more page time will fix that. My thing is this: Brandon has made no promises regarding Adolin, if anything, he's told people to chill, he'll write what he wants to write. Knowing this, I don't have expectations for Adolin, I don't expect anything from Adolin. Again, Adolin is not and never has been a main character, he was never intended to drive the narrative, thats what our 3 actual main characters are for. Adolin can go 3 ways here, he can die (because he really serves no narrative purpose anymore aside from being Shallans husband and the normal guy). Brandon can expand his narrative and actually make him interesting (I doubt it, because why wait until the 4th book to do that?). Or, he can continue on as he has, never really doing much but being there, and letting us see the world and our Radiants through "normal" eyes.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, GarrethGrey said:

As far as what he accomplishes in the narrarive...what exactly has he accomplished? 

 

- pushed his father to confront his visions

- showed kaladin a good example of lighteyes

- won a half-dozen shards for the kholin

- rescued the narak battle

- killed eshonai in the aforementioned battle

- killed sadeas

- rescued adolin and shallan from their heroid BSOD in kholinar. in that specific case, it deserves mention that both kaladin and shallan had suffered a total breakdown and neither was capable of continuing. kaladin was catatonic. shallan was paralyzed with indecision. it took stable and pragmatic adolin to tell her to not trust an unmade and activate the oathgate (turned out to be the wrong choice, but without that specific knowledge trusting an enemy general is not a smart idea)

- helped kaladin get out of his despair.

- helped shallan a lot. I'm just rereading the part, and I get the strong impression that adolin is the force of stability that is keeping shallan together.

so yes, he's just a minor character who didn't accomplish anything relevant anyway

Edited by king of nowhere
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, king of nowhere said:

- pushed his father to confront his visions

- showed kaladin a good example of lighteyes

- won a half-dozen shards for the kholin

- rescued the narak battle

- killed eshonai in the aforementioned battle

- killed sadeas

- rescued adolin and shallan from their heroid BSOD in kholinar. in that specific case, it deserves mention that both kaladin and shallan had suffered a total breakdown and neither was capable of continuing. kaladin was catatonic. shallan was paralyzed with indecision. it took stable and pragmatic adolin to tell her to not trust an unmade and activate the oathgate (turned out to be the wrong choice, but without that specific knowledge trusting an enemy general is not a smart idea)

- helped kaladin get out of his despair.

- helped shallan a lot. I'm just rereading the part, and I get the strong impression that adolin is the force of stability that is keeping shallan together.

so yes, he's just a minor character who didn't accomplish anything relevant anyway

-Actually, he thought his father was going crazy. It was Navani who recognized his babbling as Dawnchant, and got behind him first, Adolin hopped on later.

-True, but come on now, thats not really an accomplishment.

-Actually, I'd argue Kaladin was the reason those shards were won. Without him, Adolin loses.

-I'll give you that, he was integral in a portion of the battle.

-Technically he didnt kill her, he just knocked her off a cliff, and I wouldn't say that really accomplished much (aside from her ultimately dying).

-Ahh yes, Sadeas. Yeah he killed him, murdered him in cold blood actually, in a dark hallway. I guess you could say he "accomplished" getting Sadeas' men to turn to Odium.

-Yes, Adolins presence as the side character who always knows what to do was useful here. Again, wouldn't say it was accomplishing much though.

-Not really? He basically just made sure Kaladin kept moving. Again, I don't see it as accomplishing much.

-Actually, Adolin is a big reason why Shallan is so fractured in the first place. What he's keeping together is actually Shallan the mask, not actually Shallan, as he's never really met her. (I'm willing to talk about this particular point if you want, feel free to PM me)

-So yes, he is just a minor character, who hasn't really accomplished anything relevant.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, GarrethGrey said:

See, and what @agrabes is saying (I apologize if I'm wrong here), and I agree, is that Adolin is not, in fact, important to the overall narrative and is serving his purpose, as a side character. Yes, if you took him out of the books that were already written, they would fall apart, because obviously he's already part of those books and entangled within our main characters narratives. That does not necessarily mean he's important. As far as what he accomplishes in the narrarive...what exactly has he accomplished?

And what has any other character accomplished? You are most definitely set into destroying every single action Adolin has ever done in order to steer back into the minor role you are determined to believe he is having. There is one thing to be said about minor characters versus non-minor character which this discussion is completely ignoring: how readers are reacting to the character. 

A good minor character will pop into the story, provide something useful or interesting and move back into the background. Readership will never expect a minor character to have a narrative nor viewpoints. This is where Adolin literally fails at being this minor character some are insisting he is: readership is expecting a bigger role, readership is talking about him, readership is saying it was disappointing his story arc wasn't bigger. As thus, if Brandon intended for Adolin to be a minor character, then he has failed. Now, I trust Brandon is a talented enough writer to understand how he plays his readership.

Now to the big question, what has other character accomplished which is considerably more important it makes Adolin's contribution meaningless? What has Kaladin accomplished in OB? We could decipher every single character, break it down and claim it "wasn't all that important" or "someone else could have done it". Yeah. Brandon never needed Shallan's character: he could have had Jasnah unlock the Oathgate and go to Kholinar. Why Shallan? Because Brandon wants it. So why Adolin? Because Brandon has written him. Every single narrative could have been entirely re-written without one of its character, but this is besides the point: if a narrative needs to be re-written because one character is removed from it, then this character is a great deal lot more important than the meaningless role you insist Adolin fulfills.

An example of a real minor character readers like but could be removed from the narrative without drastically changing it? Lopen. Remove Lopen, what changes? Practically nothing, but he shines in his scenes, readers like him, he's popular, but everyone realizes and understands he is a minor character. Is the same true for Adolin? Nope.

3 hours ago, GarrethGrey said:

The thunderclast fight happened, because Brandon wanted to show how powerless someone like Adolin (who only had a shardblade) is now. In a world of Radiants and Fused, a normal guy like Adolin, even with a shardblade, can't really do much.

The thunderclast scene has more purpose than just having Adolin fight a monster. It allows Adolin to make the first steps towards reviving/bonding Maya which is an incredibly interesting narrative as it involves a dead-spren and something everyone believes is impossible. It also allows Renarin to step up, to take the lead, to push his brother away from the fight where he might get kill and do the kill himself. 

Why is this scene important? Because Brandon wrote it. Brandon decided it was an important scene to add to the book: without it we wouldn't have gotten Maya, we wouldn't have gotten Renarin's moment of glory.

3 hours ago, GarrethGrey said:

This I do actually agree with you to a certain extent. Though, I would hardly call "Maya" an arc at this point, where it goes in the future is anyone's guess. It could turn into a huge, character defining arc for Adolin, or it could come to or be nothing. There really wasnt enough in OB to call it an arc yet. But overall yes, this is a big reason why I don't particularly care for Adolins character anymore. We don't get inside his head, we don't know his feelings, he's primarily been used as a means to showcase and compare/contrast with our main characters. In a book full of complex and interesing characters, Adolin sticks out, in a bad way. I wish this wasn't the case, but it is.

Maya is an arc, it is just one which happens close to the ending of the book, but it remains an arc nonetheless. And one which revolved around Adolin like not other arcs before. Now, I do agree with you when you state not enough was written for Adolin's character to make the arc powerful: this is absolutely true. I however do not feel it is right to say we have never been in his head nor do we know his feelings. We know he feels unworthy of his father, we know he didn't want to be the king, we know he has a love/hate relationship with his murder of Sadeas: we actually got into his head a lot more than within the previous books, but it is true it pales next to say, Shallan. This book was particularly deep in terms of Shallan/Dalinar inner thoughts, so anything else reads as dim and unsatisfactory.

This being said, the desire to have Adolin get a stronger narrative is intrinsically linked to some readers feeling the story would be stronger for it, especially now with Maya.

3 hours ago, GarrethGrey said:

They are our main characters, theres a reason they get so much page time, this story in the front 5, is primarily theirs. And theres a reason Adolin does not, his narrative, as much as you might not like it, is not important. You didn't like Shallans narrative this book, well thats a bummer, but some of us did, some of us find her fascinating and complex and incredibly well written. Which is the complete opposite of Adolin at this point. Brandon obviously finds Shallan, Kaladin and Dalinars narratives as important, hence why they are the MC's. Adolin is like a seasoning that Brandon sprinkles into our other characters narratives, he's not meant to be important, he's not meant to have his own arc, he's not a main character. Once upon a time, after WoK, I was excited about Adolin too. Its been over 3,000 pages, 3 books, and 8 years since I flipped open WoK the first time, and the way he's presented within the narrative still hasnt changed. Adolin is still not important, Brandon himself has said he's not important. I don't think thats going to change. And if he's not important...why give him more page time? He's serving his purpose as is.

No one argued Adolin was a main character, but I have argued he was an "important" character. Brandon has had lesser character than Adolin get narrative, so there is no reason to believe Adolin will be the exception and end the series without a stronger voice. 

No I didn't particularly like Shallan's arc in OB, this is true. I have however acknowledged several times others did love it just as I have acknowledged there were readers who liked Adolin's overall arc. The romance for instance is an arc I am partial over: I did not disliked it, but I did find it could have been done better. I have also acknowledged the arc absolutely does not work out for other readers. 

8 years, 3 books and "important" characters such as Jasnah and Renarin still haven't gotten much of a narrative, let alone a story arc. Their book won't happen until book 8 and ( (if I am not mistaken), so what if Adolin's arc didn't really pan out within the first three books? What prevents Brandon from taking the time to write a better one in book 4? Didn't he take the time to flesh out Bridge 4 and this awful Moash? Why not Adolin?

Why give page time to Bridge 4? Why give page time to Moash? To Renarin? To anyone for this matter? Because the story is stronger when its characters are fleshed out. OB is stronger because we got to know Bridge 4 more, not weaker. I sincerely believe any book giving enough page time for Adolin's character to feel satisfying for all readers will be stronger for it, not weaker. 

3 hours ago, GarrethGrey said:

I agree with you again here, Adolin is not written well, and it is the primary reason I gave up on his character, and don't care about him anymore. But I'm not sure more page time will fix that. My thing is this: Brandon has made no promises regarding Adolin, if anything, he's told people to chill, he'll write what he wants to write. Knowing this, I don't have expectations for Adolin, I don't expect anything from Adolin. Again, Adolin is not and never has been a main character, he was never intended to drive the narrative, thats what our 3 actual main characters are for. Adolin can go 3 ways here, he can die (because he really serves no narrative purpose anymore aside from being Shallans husband and the normal guy). Brandon can expand his narrative and actually make him interesting (I doubt it, because why wait until the 4th book to do that?). Or, he can continue on as he has, never really doing much but being there, and letting us see the world and our Radiants through "normal" eyes.

Well Brandon is not perfect, I do think he dropped the ball in OB with Adolin, but maybe, as others have suggested, he does have a plan and it will make better sense once we read book 4. Maybe he didn't drop the ball, maybe he's just thinking farther ahead than I am thinking. How can I know?

Brandon said many things with respect to Adolin, but forces are to admit more WoB on the matter predates the release of OB. Many had to do with the murder of Sadeas which Brandon never intended to play out strongly, so it does explain Brandon's comments. Brandon also said Adolin's narrative was "surprising", "interesting" and "unpredictable". He said the character would get a story arc of his own. Not everything is black nor white. It is kind of grayish and yeah, maybe the next book will not be great for Adolin, it is hard to evaluate, but there are readers who are utterly convinced the author does have a plan for Adolin. We just haven't read it yet.

So while yes, he isn't one of the protagonist, it doesn't bar him from being an important character. In between "protagonists" and "minor characters" there is "other major characters" which is right where Adolin falls into. Also, as I said above, why wait until book 4 to give Adolin a stronger narrative? Why wait until book 8 to give Jasnah a focus? Why introducing Venli in book 3 and make her a "protagonist" even if she hasn't really gotten the focus an Adolin got? Why?

Because the story is not over yet. Not everything will play out within the first three books.

Many more things will happen and right now, what I am seeing is Adolin is the only non-Radiant in our group, he feels unworthy of his wife/father he will be the Highprince when Dalinar is still there over-shadowing him, he has started to bond Maya. "Nothing" doesn't even begin to describe Adolin right now: he has a lot going on right now. In fact, he has more going on than many other characters. 

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, GarrethGrey said:

-True, but come on now, thats not really an accomplishment.

Considering how heavily biased he was against them, I'd say it counts. 

4 hours ago, GarrethGrey said:

-Actually, I'd argue Kaladin was the reason those shards were won. Without him, Adolin loses.

Kaladin helped. Adolin did the majority of the fighting. We see that fight from Kal's perspective, and for the majority of the fight, Kaladin is keeping one of the four busy, while one is tied up with Renarin, and Adolin is still fighting two on one and comes out on top. 

His performance was enough that despite the amazing crem we. See Kaladin do, no one comments on Kaladin's performance.

Yes, without the distraction, Adolin would have lost. This doesn't diminish Adolin's role.

4 hours ago, GarrethGrey said:

-Ahh yes, Sadeas. Yeah he killed him, murdered him in cold blood actually, in a dark hallway. I guess you could say he "accomplished" getting Sadeas' men to turn to Odium.

As much as you may personally find it distasteful, the author himself sides with Adolin. 

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Was it moral for Adolin to kill Sadeas?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Which morality scheme are you looking for?

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Yours. Your personal morality.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

My personal morality. It depends on the day. That one's on a line. I would say yes. There's a little bit of-- there's enough chaotic good in me. I would generally put myself in neutral good. But there's enough chaotic good in me to say, "Yeah, that guy asked for it. He betrayed you, he was threatening your family." I would side on Adolin's side, I think.

source

And considering that the Sadeas forces possession (not turning, as the ones alive at the end stopped fighting) was a direct result of Adolin's actions, and a key factor in the climax of the book, I'd say that's a fairly non-minor role. 

Edited by Calderis
6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.